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Stephen Bradley: ‘There is no structure in Ireland to prepare our players for what to expect’ icture: INPHO

They leave Ireland as heroes, but those boys whose football dreams don’t come true find themselves ‘washed up’ by their late teens, writes John Fallon.

It’s that time of year again when Ireland’s wannabe footballers discover their fate at cross-channel clubs. If the ritual of being called before their coaches for appraisal is familiar, the outcome is depressingly so. Reality dictates that most apprentices are directed to look elsewhere for a launchpad to plot their career in the game.

A recent study undertaken by Teeside University in England highlighted the perils of players grappling with the potential afterlife...

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